Basic schools in the Zabzugu district of the Northern Region, which maintain good hygiene at their premises, are set to be rewarded through an initiative known as School Sanitation and Hygiene League Table.
The initiative is a collaboration between the district assembly and World Vision International.
The aim of the project is to institute competition among schools in the district to improve their sanitation.
The practice of good sanitation is a necessary requirement to guarantee a serene environment for learning. Ultimately, it helps to prevent contracting diseases and infections among pupils.
Governments and other stakeholders have provided facilities like toilets, urinary and washing facilities to basic schools to improve Sanitation in the schools.
But it appears the aim and purpose in most schools are far from being realised.
Most toilet facilities in some schools have deteriorated so badly that some have turned into breeding places for infections.
This is because the facilities are not properly maintained.
In view of this, the Zabzugu district and World Vision Ghana have launched Schools Sanitation and Hygiene League Table in the district to motivate schools in taking good care of the facilities.
The project and technical management for World Vision, Mr Amos Issifu spoke on the purpose of the project.
“Our main purpose or aim for coming up with this innovation is to encourage maintenance culture in our schools. We spend resources that we could have used for other purposes on sanitation due to the deplorable nature of our environment.”
The District Chief Executive for Zabzugu, Ahmed Adarkwa, urged managers of schools to take interest in ensuring that good hygiene is maintained in the schools.
He bemoaned the lack of maintenance culture, a situation that affects the facilities.
“I am happy that THE Sanitation and Hygiene League Table is going to ensure the schools take very good care of the facilities provided.”
A visit to some schools in the Zabzugu district shows that whereas some of the facilities are in good shape, others are in a very bad state. Weeds have taken over some facilities.”
Some of the pits are uncovered, exposing the pupils to danger. Flies are all over and could easily contaminate things children consume.
The school that won the junior high category shared with Citi News what they’ve been doing right.
“We have made sure that every day, the toilets and urinary facilities are swept twice, i.e. in the morning and before closing. We have also provided handwashing facilities just by the toilets so that when the children go in and come, they wash their hands. Weeds are weeded any time it grows, and we are very happy that all that we’re engaged in does not go to waste.”
Zabzugu district has 17 Junior High schools and over forty primary schools.
The schools were assessed, among other things, on proper usage and maintenance of latrines, access to handwashing facilities, efforts to stop open defecation and so on.
Kalegu Junior High school in Zabzugu emerged as the overall winner in the JHS category, and Sabare No 1 primary also won the primary category.
They took home a desktop computer, UPS and other appliances. The award is to serve as motivation for others to emulate.